San Diego convention report update

Quite a few people announced today or yesterday that one-day Saturday tickets at the San Diego Comic-con had sold out. It actually sold out on December 18th when we made the screen shot below:
We haven’t been publicizing the availability of single day tickets here, both to avoid ay kind of rush, and because of our own pool to see who comes closest to guessing when the show sells out entirely. As of today, Friday is looking to go very very soon.
Despite the increasingly crowded confines of the SD convention center for Comic-Con, a planned expansion is still up in the air, and there will be fewer conventions overall in SD in 2010, as the crap economy takes a toll. All of you San Diego scholars will want to read the whole article (and the bitchy comments), but the main takeaway is that nerd con is still not considered a top revenue source for the county:

San Diego, the forecast noted, continues to be a beneficiary of the strong medical and health care sectors, which this year will be the source of 16 conventions. Two of those, the Society for Neuroscience and the American Society of Anesthesiologists, are among the 25 largest medical meetings in the nation, according to the report.

“The attendee profile is also great for San Diego as these individuals typically have more disposable income, spend more money in the host city, travel with family or friends and extend their stay a few days to enjoy the sights the host city has to offer,” the forecast said.

Other conventions identified as top economic generators this year include the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Safety Council.

While the annual Comic-Con in July draws by far the largest attendance, with 126,000 attendees forecast for this year, it is not among those meetings generating the greatest economic impact.

“Internally, we have a pretty conservative calculation on direct attendee spending from Comic-Con because it’s a unique event and a little difficult to get our arms around,” said Mark Emch, the convention center’s vice president of finance. “Also, there is significant local attendance, and they’re not going to stay in hotels.”

Direct spending by those attending conventions refers to lodging, meal, shopping and transportation expenses, while the regional economic impact numbers encompass, among other things, wages associated with the 12,000 hospitality and other jobs that the convention center supports.

Okay now you may be asking yourself, how can a show where every hotel is booked solid for miles and miles, with room rates jacked up to twice their normal value with people crammed four to a room, produce so little revenue compared to 30,000 neurologists? The key is in the bit about “these individuals typically have more disposable income, spend more money in the host city, travel with family or friends and extend their stay a few days to enjoy the sights the host city has to offer.”

This part, we must grudgingly admit, is true. A neurologist or anesthesiologist is probably more likely to bring the husband and kids along for a few days. and hang out in Legoland afterwards. Comic-Con, by contrast, can be such an exhausting and expensive deal that everyone has to make a getaway as swiftly and cleanly as possible. No Legoland for us.

You can read the whole report here. And when you see it in black and white it really does all make sense. Those 36,000 neurologists are expected to spend $68 million, for an average expenditure of $1,888 or so. Top that, Peter Jackson!


  1. bad wolf says

    The last time i looked at room prices i thought you could spend $1888 on a hotel alone. Was i that far off?

  2. jeff says

    The 36,000 who average $ 1,888 does Not make sense!! The 122,000 still on average spend for hotel,food(restaurants are packed),public transportation,etc. and I am sure SanDiego Would feel the affects if it left!!!!

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